MINNEAPOLIS – The stove is still hot for the hyper-active Twins…and Stephen Cruz.
Taylor doesn’t offer an impact bat as his 2022 OPS was .670, but his role is important as right-handed insurance for Byron Buxton. 615 OPS when he was forced into a good deal of action (122 games) last season, the youngster should level up Gilberto Celestino soon.
Twins will receive: by Michael A. Taylor
Royals receive: RHP Stephen Cruz (Twins prospective No. 28), LHP Evan Sisk
Taylor is in the final year of a two-year, $9 million contract that will give the Twins a right-handed option to mix-and-match in center field, hitting lefty Joey Gallo and Nick Gordon if Buxton goes down. increase. even in a fight. Considering how much the Twins like to platoon, Taylor’s .722 career OPS against lefties becomes an important consideration, even as a corner outfield option or late-game replacement when Buxton is healthy. There is a possibility.
The deal sees Buxton, Gallo, Gordon, Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnak, Matt Wallner, Celestino, Taylor and even Kyle Farmer as potential options for roaming the turf in an already packed field situation. becomes even more crowded. With Luis Araez traded off, Kirillov and Gallo were able to factor in more factors at first base.
Since Kepler’s name has continued to pop up in trade rumors throughout the offseason, the Twins may seek to deal with it from this outfield depth as well, as they may need bullpen depth.
However, one thing is clear. In its current form between Buxton, Kepler, Gallo and Taylor, this could be one of the Twins’ best defensive outfields in nearly any composition. Statcast metrics on the field. This could be a particular boon for Joe Ryan and Tyler Murre, who produce higher-than-average flyball percentages.
On paper, this is a deep move that doesn’t really stand out on the country’s radar, but it could be very important for the Twins. 585 combined at-bats due to outfield injuries, or Cave, Celestino and Rob Refsnyder combined for 397 at-bats in 2021.
With Buxton’s health concerns and Kirillov’s and Larnach’s history of pock injuries, outfield depth has played a huge role in recent Twins history.Taylor brings veteran stability there. There is a possibility.
In exchange, the Twins gave Cruz and Sisk unsophisticated relief prospects. Both had interesting potential in the high minor, but struggled with control.
At 6-foot-7, Cruz had a huge fastball that peaked in Double-A Wichita, but struggled to walk. Sisk was one of the Twins’ more interesting bullpen options in Triple-A St. Paul due to his left-handed delivery of the sidearm with his extreme crossfire motion. He was originally acquired on a JA Happ deal with the Cardinals at the 2021 trade deadline.